Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneurs are Erica Smith and Lorena Magallanes, a.k.a. The Condo Chicks. With just over $500 million in closings last year, the Chicks are a savvy female power duo that know the Toronto real estate market inside and out. They also want to empower young home buyers to make the right decision when it comes to finding the perfect space.
We caught up with Erica and Lorena to find out what inspires them and what advice they would share with other young professionals…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
We sell real estate. A lot of real estate. We have created a team of strong women to help us sell a lot of real estate.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
We met selling pre-construction for a builder in Toronto. After we learned the ropes, we thought – “we can do this!” Shortly after we sold out the projects, we started our own company and here we are! Dreams do come true.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
When we officially joined forces to create Condo Chicks. Once we made it official, it was amazing at how many doors started opening for us!
4. Where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years, 20 years?
We see us having Condo Chicks in multiple North American cities. Think Condo Chicks NYC, Condo Chicks Miami. We want our brand everywhere and we hope that one day Condo Chicks will have a strong North American presence. In 10-20 years, we want to be managing it all.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Never give up. Even when it seems like the world is against you or doesn’t believe in you, never ever give up. Follow your gut.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
Our company is a big supporter of Sick Kids and The Salvation Army. Every Christmas, we involve our team in charity walks and contributions. We can never forget how fortunate we are. It’s easy sometimes to forget when we are having a bad day that there is always someone having a much worse day.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Proving that women can play in a man’s world. We can compete with the best of them, we can run businesses and families AND have it all! We overcame it by never giving up and not being intimidated by any situation we find ourselves in. We continue to overcome it every day.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
A defining moment that shapes your life’s direction.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
Erica: Carbon Bar. It’s so much fun having fried chicken with a beautiful bottle of red!
Lorena: Campagnolo – I love that their menu changes daily and their selection of wine and cocktails is to die for.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Erica: Zara and “Make me Feel” by Cedric Gervais and Will Monfret
Lorena: Definitely Instagram. “Starboy” by the Weeknd featuring Daft Punk
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Erica: Greece… Can’t get enough of that place! It’s really a dirty addiction that country for me! As soon as I land I start smoking, drinking lots of wine and coffee. Don’t ask me why. It just happens. Next country I’m going to is Mexico – Los Cabos. We go there a few times a year. It’s our home away from home… and I don’t smoke when I’m there. 🙂
Lorena: Argentina… my parents are from Argentina and I just love the culture, food, and wine. My boyfriend and I are actually travelling to Argentina at the end of the year. It is time to introduce the boyfriend to my culture and roots.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Erica: When my husband opens wine when I’m not at home.
Lorena: I’m a huge soccer fan so it definitely is missing a TFC soccer game. If I am not at a game or am unable to watch an away game, I am stuck to my phone trying to find out the score.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Erica: Wine…. I love red wine.
Lorena: Wine, bread and cheese.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Erica: My nails. They always chip within a few hours of leaving the salon. I always end up buying the same color at the store to do touch ups. Such a waste! I wish I spent more money on gas. I should just fill up the car when I’m there as opposed to making two trips a week. Still don’t know why I do it.
Lorena: My eyelashes. I get them done every three weeks. It is an expensive habit to have. I wish I spent more money on spa treatments. Life gets so busy that I never have enough time for myself. Getting a massage or facial is relaxing and soothing and something I should spend more money on.
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Erica: Success is being happy, at the end of the day regardless of whether it was a work day or play day.
Lorena: Success is being happy and satisfied with your career and personal life. Being comfortable with who you are and feeling like you are exactly where you are meant to be.